Amber Case seems to have done it all: she’s been on Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30, she was named one of National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers, and she gets to work on next generation location-based technology in her day to day. Further, her startup Geoloqi was acquired by Esri in 2012 and now she’s the Director of Esri’s R&D Center in Portland, OR.
We knew we were in for a good time when she spoke at our recent Tech Cocktail Week in Las Vegas. Case didn’t disappoint when she ditched the slide show presentations for casual conversations about Geoloqi and hunting for funding in a city that traditionally doesn’t have a lot of viable capital options. What made the talk great, though, was the point of importance she stressed: developing the ability to think.
As a Lewis and Clark University student Case studied Cyborg Anthropology (which is awesome in and of itself), but she wanted even more out of her education. So, she sought out classmates who felt similarly, and they collectively discovered that it was an entrepreneurial life they were craving – the company came shortly after.
The only problem left was funding, so they put their heads together and cooked, or rather baked, up a solution. To secure a meeting with the ever-ethereal University President, they baked a tray of electric car cookies in the spirit of their electric car startup. The cookies got them the meeting, the meeting got them a second meeting with the General Counsel, and the end result was $30,000 in funding.
“How much money do you spend on getting the type of student you want in this school? Don’t you want to compete with schools like Stanford?,” Case asked the funding committee. “If we do anything and get in the press at all we’ll probably attract 5 or 6 students to the school at $45,000 a year. You’re going to make your investment back.”
That, ladies and gentlemen, is putting your thinking powers to good use in a creative fashion. Case is such an entrepreneur.
Watch the video here: